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Crainey: That’s what it’s all about – a squad effort

15 January 2022

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Head Coach Stephen Crainey spoke to the press after Fleetwood Town’s emphatic 1-0 victory over league leaders Rotherham United at Highbury.

Town’s game plan worked out to a tee as they withheld the pressure placed on the side from the Millers, before playing in a free-kick just before the end, finding the head of Toto Nsiala and then the foot of Anthony Pilkington, who tapped it home seconds from the end.

Here’s what the Head Coach had to say:

On the game…

“The lads’ attitude, endeavour, application, and desire to stop the ball going into the back of the net was outstanding. I said to them at half-time if we keep defending how we did in the first half, we’ll get a chance ourselves, and thankfully when we did, we took it late on.”

“Overall I thought the application of the group, not just the starting XI, made a real impact on the game and that’s what it’s all about - a squad effort. It’s not just about the starting XI on the pitch. We need everyone to buy into what we’re doing and that’s exactly what I’m getting every week in training and in the games.”

“But most of all I’m pleased to get the three points, after winning 1-0 last week at Doncaster and winning 1-0 today, two wins, six points, and two clean sheets, I’m delighted for the group.”

On the half-time substitution…

“We all know Rotherham are a physical side, they’re up there at the top of the league and they’re there on merit, they utilise what they have got really well. So I thought bringing Toto [Nsiala] on would bring us a bit more physicality, and that proved to work well, especially at the other end with our set-piece as he knocked it down and we got the winner off the back of it.”

“We did change formation at half-time, we wanted to match them up and go toe-to-toe. We started with a 4-3-3 and changed to a 3-5-2 and I thought it helped us in the game.”

“I think we’re a real good footballing side, but in league one, you need a bit of physicality as well and that’s what we’ve got now and not only that but we’ve got competition for places now and that’s what I want as a manager.”

On Anthony Pilkington…

“He [Pilkington] has got real quality on the ball, and he showed real endeavour off the ball. That’s what I want for not only him but for the whole group in general and that’s what they give me every day so long may that continue.”

“He [Pilkington] gambled on the flick on so every credit to him. He’s obviously smelt it and gambled and got his reward, so it was nice to get the win. It was a real difficult game for them against a top team and they’ll win lots of games from now until the end of the season.”


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